New technologies provide solution

SADDLE BROOK, NJ, March 23, 2009
: Ever wonder where those Styrofoam® school cafeteria trays end up? Not to mention those Styrofoam coffee cups. What about the Styrofoam packaging that comes with appliances, such as TVs and computers? For most of America, they get tossed into the garbage and hauled to the landfill. But why. . . they take up valuable space in landfills, and take years to decompose.

In Florida, an Innovative Waste and Reduction Grant between the State and RecycleTech Corporation is attempting to stop the flow of Expanded Polystyrene (Styrofoam®) into landfills. Awarded in 2008, the grant has placed RecycleTech’s EPS processing machines in several counties and businesses throughout Florida.

Since the first unit was placed in June of 2008, over 1,607,400 cubic feet of landfill space has been saved. This amount is equivalent to 423 fifty-three-foot trailers loaded with expanded polystyrene foam.

Environmentalists have no love for polystyrene, claiming that, “it often ends up as litter and has become notorious for breaking up into pieces that choke animals and clog their digestive systems.” (source: Earth Resource web site)

Clean post-industrial and consumer packaging, expanded polystyrene (EPS), is being disposed of into landfills at alarming rates. The low density of EPS increases the transport costs of these materials as a waste product for the generator. EPS has historically been a waste stream that was not recycled due to the low cost/benefit ratio of the processes that were available. In the past, equipment designed to process EPS was either too expensive or large and cumbersome, requiring significant floor processing space.

Recent improvements in technology have made the recycling of expanded polystyrene a practicality. Process equipment can reduce the volume of polystyrene 90 times, using a special heat extrusion method that melts and compresses the polystyrene into a solid, heavy ingot. The block becomes the base raw material in the production of other plastic products such as plastic picture frames or soles for shoes and the backs to CD jewel cases. “This process eliminates polystyrene from the waste stream,” says Howard Adams, General Manager of RecycleTech, a New Jersey-based company that has developed and refined the process. RecycleTech’s XT 500 consists of a Crusher, Conveyor and an Extruder capable of processing 500 lbs. of EPS per hour.

RecycleTech was formed in 2005 to address the issue of polystyrene recycling through technology. The company has produced a line of equipment which shreds and processes via heat, polystyrene and other plastics into a solid ingot. RecycleTech will purchase the condensed ingot from the customer to close the loop and keep EPS out of the waste stream. With customers and plants in the US, Korea, New Zealand, Ecuador and China, RecycleTech has become the leader in polystyrene processing equipment. www.recycletechno.com